Hat-trick for Sullivan
EXPLOSIVE fullback Jake Thompson and mercurial five-eighth Nathan Sullivan each bagged hat-tricks of tries as Isis Devils further turned up the heat with a 58-8 demolition of a gallant but outclassed Waves Tigers in their Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership ninth round encounter at Salter Oval on Sunday.
By their win, the Devils joined Wallaroos in equal-fourth position on 10 points after Roos suffered their second straight defeat, with competition leaders Brothers gaining revenge for their loss to them in their first clash this year on Anzac Day, running out 42-10 victors.
Meanwhile, Hervey Bay moved to 11 points and leapfrogged Roos into third position with a hard-fought 20-16 home triumph over an improved Easts Magpies at Stafford Park on Saturday afternoon.
With captain/coach Simon Ricciardi pulling the strings at hooker, the Devils were always in control against the Tigers, opening a 34-4 half-time lead and going right on with the job despite Waves salvaging a bit of pride in the second 40 minutes.
Isis had prevailed just 38-34 when the two sides previously matched motors on 26th April, but the Devils are starting to really hit their straps, with their forwards laying a strong platform, young halfback Tim Cole forming a lethal combination with Sullivan, and the imposing Jake Thompson on fire and adding extra dimension to the side in attack and defence.
Representative second rower Robert O'Donnell, who chalked up 20 points with one try and eight goals, also just keeps getting better and better every week.
Tigers halves Daniel McLennan and A Grade debutant Callum Gavin, both doubling up from under-18, did everything in their power to lift their side, and fullback Connor Jones, also backing up from the 18's, scored a superb long range try and went close on a few other occasions, but the Devils were simply too big and too strong.
Brothers had been ambushed by Roos 34-26 in Maryborough when they last met and despite having a few of their big guns missing through injury, Wallaroos were without their suspended electrifying halves pairing of Roderique and Gibson Gela and the Blue and Whites were in a different class.
They led 26-0 at oranges and while Roos were the first to score in the second stanza, just three minutes in, Brothers responded with three more tries before Roos interchange player Richard Sandow scored a consolation try.
Centre Tien Nguyen, who started the season with Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles before returning home, was Brothers' only multiple try getter, opening their account in the 8th minute and also delivering Roos the virtual knock-out when he crossed again six seconds before the break after the ball was spun wide from a scrum win.
Brothers had many heroes, headed by rampaging second rower Joel McCrea, who scored a run-away 80 metre try in a super heavyweight all-round showing.
Halfback Andrew Cross also grabbed a try in a similarly outstanding domineering display, while their unsung heroes included emerging winger Mitchell Gaul, no-frills lightweight front rower Nathan Webster, young second rower Patrick Corrigan, who continually grows in confidence and stature, and bench players Tyla Hodge, Jamie Turnbull in his return to the club after a long stint in Brisbane, Joshua Pope and Jake Bauer, who all made veal impacts.
Hervey Bay and Easts had fought out a 16-all draw in their first duel of 2014 and the result of their return bout again went right down to the wire but it was lightning fast winger Billy Stefaniuk who proved the match winner for the Seagulls with a double in his comeback from a long injury enforced lay-off.
The Bay also welcomed back blockbusting front rower Darcy Horgan from a lengthy absence and he quickly stamped his mark as well with a signature performance.
Easts, who had been put to the sword with much depleted sides at their previous two outings, were also bolstered by the return of five-eighth Kyle Laybutt after he also started the new season with the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles, and he was their stand-out with a try and adding genuine class and extra experience in a youthful back-line, and now they have turned the corner, a win may be just around the corner, although they face a daunting challenge this Sunday against form side Isis.
In the women’s Division, three-times defending champions Brothers kept their perfect record in tact but they were pushed all the way in their top of the table showdown by Gladstone Raidettes, getting home 14-12, with fullback Kady Tinker, fresh from her Queensland selection, scoring one of their three tries.
Easts powered on at the top of the under-18 ladder, white-washing the Tigers 48-0 with doubles to powerhouse front rower Kyle Spry and lock Jesse Marschke.
Brothers’ 18’s were also impressive in beating Roos 32-10 with dynamic lock Lachi Shea racking up 20 points with three tries and four goals.
Isis 58 (Jake Thompson 3, Nathan Sullivan 3, Peter Grant, Telefoni Iakopo, Robert O’Donnell, Ashley O’Donnell tries; Robert O’Donnell 8, Aaron Ratcliffe goals) d Waves 8 (Connor Jones, Nathan Jones tries).
Brothers 42 (Tien Nguyen 2, Chris Rose, Aidan Dempsey, Mat Templeman, Andrew Cross, Patrick Corrigan, Joel McCrea tries; Nathan Moore 5 goals) d Wallaroos 10 (Eddie Booth, Richard Sandow tries; Alex Beatty).
Hervey Bay 20 (Billy Stefaniuk 2, Brock Eldridge, Daniel Kirk tries; Terry Horne 2 goals) d Easts 16 (Blake Moodie, Kyle Laybutt, Caleb Gazzard tries; Laybutt, Hayden Herbert goals).